History Bandits

Every town, every city has a radical history that's been buried and conveniently forgotten by those who wield power. The 'good burghers' of the city are immortalised in marble, stone, bronze and steel, those who made history lay in unmarked graves, their contributions conveniently forgotten. Each new generation unaware of its past, is forced to reinvent the wheel and repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again.

We need to dig up that historical record and share it with those around us. Melbourne, Sydney, Tenterfield, Barcaldine, Broome, Launceston, Darwin and every other Australian town and city has a forgotten radical history. That history has been stolen from us, we must take it back if we want to understand the present and change the future. Local libraries, oral histories from older members of the community, family histories, old newspapers and history books can be utilised to build up a picture of that radical past. Rediscovering the past is not enough. We have to drag it into the present and link it with what's happening today if we went to change the future.

In 2004, the Melbourne based Anarchist Media institute will be holding a monthly event in a different part of the city to highlight the city's radical past and its relevance to life in Melbourne today. Years of research by a number of dedicated people have brought that forgotten history to the surface. These historical lessons need to be shared the rest of the community. If they are not shared, they remain dull, lifeless facts and figures that are of little interest outside historical circles.

The Anarchist Media Institute through the Anarchist Age Weekly Review and the Anarchist World This Week plans to hold one event a month around Melbourne to highlight the importance of specific sites and events in Melbourne's radical past We encourage our readers and listeners around the world to rediscover their radical history and hold events to reinforce the importance of those historic events. The retelling of history is everybody's business, don't leave it to those in power or professional historians, if you do, you run the very real risk of losing that vital link to the past that we need, if we want to understand the present and change the future.


Anarchist Media Institute

PO Box 20, Parkville, VIC 3052 Australia


From: from Anarchist Age Weekly Review #577.